PROZAC: THE ARTICLE
This year has been interesting to say the least. Two games into the season and I’m seeing a lot of angst from Aggie Twitter, message boards, and actually out in the wild. The latter point is mostly myself in the mirror. Every day. Crying. While listening to Katy Perry. Look, I don’t need your judgement; we all deal with sports in our own unique ways, and mine is to constantly be reassured that I’m a firework that will shoot across the sky-y-y.
This week, our Aggies have invited (read: paid) the University of Louisiana Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns to campus for a football game (read: red wedding). Yes, that’s what I thought of Nicholls State, too. Turns out we got more than we bargained for last weekend, and that’s frustrating. This week is going to tell us a lot about our team moving forward, so here’s the one thing I think we should be looking for.
Fight. Yup, they blew a lead to UCLA and then escaped home field against a small school from Thibodeaux. So far it’s not a good look. But you know what was a good look? The team that played that first half against UCLA. That team was mean, pissed off, and played with swagger. Adversity happens during a football season, and this author is glad that they’ve experienced said adversity early in a season for once. A team can recover from that if they’re willing to fight. Moving forward, this team has an opportunity to improve and play to their strengths, and maybe learn some damn clock management if they get a lead… sorry, I don’t wanna go down that road again.
It’s odd the tone of some of the comments I’m reading online about the Aggies from Aggies themselves. It’s almost a sort of smug “I told ya so” and seems to root for failure. Deep down, I think some Ags are comfortable with failure and kind of enjoy wallowing in it. Well, I for one don’t want to see failure. I want fight. I want Sumlin to stick around. I want these kids to taste what it feels like to win regardless of people’s expectations of them. This week, I feel they’re going to shake off the sad sackedness and beat the absolute snot out of an inferior opponent. It’s time to buckle up and get ready for conference play, and I think they’re going to show us something.
Or I’ll be wrong again and have to start self-medicating. *starts singing and crying* DO YOU EVER FEEL LIKE A PLASTIC BAG *cough-cries, blows snot all over self, collapses*
Aggies - 45
Cajuns - 14
CAST OF CHARACTERS
The Ragin' Cajuns' heaviest defensive end is about 50 pounds lighter than #78. Time to Re-esTablish Dominance on the line of scrimmage and push some Beef around. Run The Dang Ball in case you missed the subtlety. Know your audience.
Hell, why not. No one else wanted to do anything last Saturday until the dang third-string tailback got into the mix and nearly broke the century mark. Great effort, get out there and do it again 2-5.
ULL is going to run. A lot. With many different ball carriers. We'll need solid tackling from everyone. Could be a good chance for a young, rangy DB to make a name for himself. This is just an elaborate way of preemptively yelling "WRAP UP" in general.
Don't kick to this man. Don't do it. Don't accidentally or on purpose kick to him. He's returned two out of seven kicks for touchdowns already this year. One for 100 yards. Kick it away or out of bounds or something. Don't get cute. Don't.
#3 has accounted for 100% of ULL's passing output and about a quarter of their ground game so far. Unheard of for a QB, right? Crazy. I mean, how does a team have one quarterback who completes all the passes and is a viable run threat at all times? Where did they find this guy? What's that? The Houston area? Oh.
This inclusion is in no way a flimsy excuse to include YouTube footage of a human pepper performing American Gladiator acts. Nor is it merely to gratuitously add this footage of Cayenne doing the Thriller dance all by Cayenne's lonesome. Not at all. Where is '80s Ol' Sarge when you need him?
Folks, we're in the full swing of it now. Rumblings are rampant and everyone's talking coaching change. Message board Warren Buffets are dishing on contract buyouts using monetary legalese as juicy as a Gordon Gekko wet dream.
Well, it's time we maybe thought outside the box here. What about a la carte coaching? We do it with food, and heck, we even do it with HBO. So why not give it a shot for a football game? Hear us out, now:
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
OOOH LAH LAH
Poor Ol' Aggie, I laugh at all his words
I thought he was a bitter man, he spoke of Aggies' ways
They'll trap you then abuse you before you even know
But love is blind, still you'll start to find, no lead's too big to blow
I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger
I wish that I know what I know now when I was stronger
The Air Raid's such a pretty show they'll steal your heart away
But fourth quarter back on earth again the passing is here to stay
They come on strong converting third and long and you start to think think they'll win
But love is blind and you soon will find they just might lose again
When you want a run you get a fade, maybe a halfback on a swing
When you want some yards then they're out in three, and now you're turning in your ring
Poor New Army, there's nothing I can say
You'll have to learn just like me, and that's the hardest way
ULaLa, La, La, yeah, yeah...
The Aggies are averaging over 280 rushing yards per game. ULL gave up 424 rushing yards to Tulsa last week. So when the chips are down and A&M needs to punch in a few hard-nosed yards to seal it, look for the fade route that has been completed many times with great success consistently throughout college football over the years.
By now you've certainly heard tell of the heroic deeds of some selfless Nicholls State fans who helped a drunken Aggie (we don't booze, we just run out of... well, alcohol-free blood I suppose) find his way down from the treacherous peaks of Mt. Kyle. And let no one ever forget the sight of hundreds of bass trollers and fan boats caravaning down I-10 as the Cajun Navy came to the rescue of thousands of stranded Texans in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey.
(Note: I have not yet had time to pen my full thoughts on the actions of the Cajun Navy, but let me just say that it was in a single action the sum of my entire experience with southern Louisianans: unique, aggressively generous, and generally unconcerned with permission or instruction from the proper authorities. Bless y'all.)
Anyway, win or lose, get to know a cajun this weekend. They're good folk, but mind that accent or you'll accidentally agree to trade your F150 for a pair of white rubber shrimpin' boots and a bucket of mud bugs.
ELSEWHERE IN THE SEC
#23 TENNESSEE @ #24 FLORIDA
Tennessee is trending hot right now. They showed program toughness by battling back from a deficit against a dangerous Georgia Tech rushing attack. They have an electric special teams unit and big play makers on offense. This team is also fighting for their coach's job, which one can only hope is quite a motivator please oh please god let that be a motivator.
Florida meanwhile got thumped in their opener against Michigan, and thanks to hurricane Irma they missed their opportunity to diagnose their offense against a slow-pitch Northern Colorado before diving right into conference play. This program has serious issues it needs to address.
The football gods are not without a sense of humor, though, and Florida winning this game is hilarious to everyone that's not Tennessee. Go Gata!
66,000 DEGREES OF KEVIN'S BACON
[Summer 2017. GBH Headquarters beneath Kyle Field. The Tailgate crew is discussing the upcoming season.]
RUSH: OK fellas, we need to figure out we're getting rid of and what new features to add.
CHUCK: What if we did some sort of thermometer to measure the heat of Sumlin's seat each week?
WES: I like it. Plus we have our cupcakes early in the season, so even if we lose to UCLA there will be some movement as it cools off after he puts a beatdown on Nicholls State.
CHUCK: Agreed, fellows! The only way this could not be funny is if we pegged the meter in the opening week and then things continued to get worse. Can you imagine?
[All laugh hysterically as single drops of blood begin to stream from their noses. A buzzard lands on the table. Laughter continues.]
PLACE YOUR BETS
BEST CASE / WORST CASE
The run game is reestablished, the offensive line looks like they’re doing sled drills all day, and our quarterbacks start to find rhythm with receivers. The defense finds that they don’t have to take shit from anyone, and begins to hit people in the mouth like that first half at the Rose Bowl. I am buried alive in brisket and have to eat my way to safety.
The bottom falls out. The team can’t recover from two weeks of let-down play and decides to go full-Baylor. Mazzone sits on the sideline doing a coloring book titled “Go Football Fun Times” while Chavis spends the first half trying to dip an entire log of Copenhagen at once to impress the Defensive staff. I am buried alive in pickles, and decide to meet my maker instead of facing my fears.